Ho ho ho! Today we're announcing the release of Speak Agent for iOS. It's a mobile app for students to access their assigned lessons on iPhones and iPads. The mobile app offers the same overall learning experience and content as the web version!
Who Can Access the App?
The iOS app is for students. To use this app, a student must be enrolled in a school that has licensed Speak Agent and have an existing login. There's no additional cost for school districts. There's no cost to students or families. There are no in-app purchases or ads. Currently, the login options are secret code (for grades K-4) and PIN (for grades 5-12). Clever SSO integration is planned.
What's in the App?
Students can access all of their assigned lessons in the app, just like in the web version. The only difference is that not all activity types are available on mobile just yet. (See the App Store page for details.)
The app works seamlessly with the web version. So, students can switch between doing activities on an iPhone or iPad and others on the website. Speak Agent will remember all of their progress, including portfolio items and learning badges, no matter which device they use.
What Problem Does the App Solve?
It helps marginalized learners access their Math+Language and Science+Language assignments on phones with the same level of functionality and usability they get on a computer. A recent Pew survey of 4,917 U.S. adults found that 43% of lower-income students have to do their schoolwork on a phone. Prior data also show another demographic divide: Black and Hispanic students have far less access to computers and broadband at home than White students do. But they have roughly equal access to smartphones.
Source: Pew Research Center, 9/9/2020.
So, in order to better serve all learners, we've spent the last few months designing a great learning experience for students on smartphones. Our first version 1.0 is made for iPhones and iPads. Next, we will add Android phones.